Forecourt Trader
Euro Garages appoints finance director

Euro Garages, current Forecourt Trader of the year and one of the UK's largest operators of petrol forecourts and convenience stores,  has appointed James Thornton as finance director.

Tobacco display ban guidance published

Guidance on how retailers should comply with the new tobacco display ban regulations in England, which come into force on April 6, 2012 for stores above 280 sqm, has been published by the Department of Health.

Drive-off teenager dies in police chase

A teenager who allegedly drove off without paying for his fuel was subsequently killed as police gave chase. Police were called after the driver of a purple VW Golf drove off without paying from a BP forecourt in St Leonards, Dorset at 10pm on Saturday night (Dec 17).

Police arrest Esso armed robbers

Police have arrested three men after CCTV images were released of an armed robbery that took place at an Esso garage in Portland, Dorset on December 12.

Lord Steel demands French-style motorway petrol price displays

Former Liberal leader Lord Steel of Aikwood has called for Britain to follow the French and display the price their competitors charge for petrol, in a question to the House of Lords about fuel prices at motorway service stations.

Forecourt flasher caught

A forecourt flasher who was caught running naked from a petrol station after terrifying a woman driver, has pleaded guilty to five offences.

Government outlines plans for councils to retain Business Rates income

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles has today confirmed Government plans to introduce a new income retention scheme for local authorities which promote business growth in their areas from April 2013.

Rural fuel duty relief scheme launched

Fuel retailers can now register for the rural fuel duty rebate pilot scheme, following confirmation of the legislation in Parliament. The pilot was given the go-ahead last month by the European Union, to start in March 2012. It allows for a 5ppl tax discount to apply on fuel sold in Scotland’s Inner and Outer Hebrides, Northern Isles, the islands in the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.

HMRC officers shut forecourt selling illicit fuel

A forecourt in the Magherafelt area of Co Londonderry selling illicit fuel has been closed down by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Officers raided the site and tested samples of the fuel from the diesel tanks. As a result, a 17,000-litre fuel tank and the forecourt pumps were seized, along with 2,300 litres of contaminated fuel.

Minister sure of 'no site closures' as new vapour recovery legislation in force from January 1

The new Fuel Vapour Recovery Stage II EU directive is set to come into force on January 1, 2012, following consultation with local authorities and industry bodies, in particular RMI Petrol.

Leeds dealer wins industry safety award

Faisal Rana of Leeds-based United Petroleum UK won £1,000 at the Xmo Strata Forecourt Safety Awards. Faisal won the award for providing a constant improvement in health and safety on forecourts. The judges lavished praise on the comprehensive package of ideas, systems, processes and thoughts which went into a programme which collectively he calls the 'Goal Zero Initiative'.

UK fuel card company Allstar sold to Fleetcor

Arval UK has announced the sale of AllStar Business Solutions Ltd (AllStar) to FleetCor Technologies, Inc (FleetCor), a leading independent global fleet card provider, for £194m.

KSC buys Top 50 Indie Bishop Retail

Top 50 Indie Bishop Retail has been sold to to KSC Worldwide Ltd, following completion of a deal with the Stamford Group. The sale will see KSC take ownership of the nine sites in the North East of England trading under the Harvest Energy and Mace brands.

Student gets community service for drive-offs

A 23-year-old student from the West Midlands has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service after he was found guilty of a series of drive-offs.

Supermarket promotions fail to lure shoppers

Shopper spend stalled in November despite supermarkets' continuing lure of price cuts, money-off vouchers, fuel discounts and still further use of promotions, according to the latest retailer performance figures released by Nielsen.

ACS welcomes Cable's commitment on Regulatory Enforcement

Local shops have welcomed plans to change the way that businesses experience ‘frontline enforcement’, set out by Business Secretary Vince Cable. Plans include:

Urgent call for retailer evidence to meet OFT's December 20 deadline

Independent retailers are being urged to give evidence to an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the acquisition by Shell of 253 former Total sites from Rontec.

Superstar sites

The Northern Ireland and Northern England categories were hotly contested in the Forecourt Trader Awards. Amy Lanning catches up with the winners.

Baby makes dramatic arrival at Topaz forecourt

A beautiful baby girl who announced her arrival into the world in dramatic circumstances at a petrol station in North County Dublin has returned to the Topaz site two weeks later to meet staff who were on duty that night.

Nisa back on TV with new advert

Nisa has made a significant investment in its consumer marketing and brand building for the second year running with the production a new TV advert.

UKPIA looks at future of refining and downstream

UKPIA has published a new study looking at the future role of the refining and downstream industry.

BOSS pioneers project to tackle rural forecourt crime

BOSS has launched a pioneering project with Strathclyde Police to help fuel retailers in rural communities tackle crime on their forecourts.

Petrol and diesel cars will be gone by 2050, says new government proposal

All of Britain’s road vehicles will be battery powered by 2050, according to proposals by energy secretary Chris Huhne.

P&H launches price-match pledge to dispel myth of 'cheaper' cash and carries

Palmer and Harvey is launching its first-ever price-match pledge, as part of a major pricing shake-up to dispel the myth that buying from cash and carry outlets is cheaper than buying from a delivered wholesaler.

Jet sites promote safe winter driving

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Jet service stations across the country have launched a safe driving initiative to advise motorists on handling winter driving conditions.

Signing spree for Jet

Jet is seeing more and more independent forecourts joining the brand. In this quarter alone, the brand has welcomed a further 10 service stations to its network in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Greater London.

Euro Garages set to open 100 roadside Starbucks outlets

Starbucks is to open 200 new drive-thru coffee shops in the next five years – 100 of which will be operated under licence by Top 50 Indie Euro Garages.

Harvest Energy appoints new sales manager

Harvest Energy is setting its sights on Scotland and the North East with the appointment of Gary Conway as sales manager for independent fuel retailers.

Fuel prices – November 25, 2011


Chancellor cancels January fuel duty rise

January's planned fuel duty rise will be cancelled, Chancellor George Osborne announced in today's Autumn Statement.

ACS welcomes pro-growth business rates decision

ACS has welcomed the pro-growth initiatives in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which include a two-year deferral scheme for planned business rates increase in April 2012, extension of small business rate relief until April 2013, a £40bn National Loan Guarantee Scheme, and the deferral of the 3ppl increase in fuel duty.

Don't bank on it

Interesting report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) at the end of last month showing that overall pay growth for workers in the UK has hit a record low. The number of people being paid less than the minimum wage of £6.08 has risen, and there was a big difference in earnings between London and the rest of the country.

Go-ahead for rural fuel duty rebate

A rural fuel duty rebate pilot scheme has been given the green light from the European Union, to start on March 2012.

Euro Garages to host RMIP regional forum

Euro Garages, this year's Forecourt Trader of the Year winner, and one of the UK's largest independent forecourt retailers, has joined RMI Petrol.

Convenience set for £42bn

The UK food and grocery convenience sector is set to grow to £42.2bn in five years' time, according to figures revealed by IGD at its Convenience Retail Conference.

CWA rolls out kitemark

Ramsay to head GB Oils

Former BP executive Ramsay MacDonald has been appointed director of GB Oils, the DCC Energy subsidiary which has recently taken control of the Total dealer network.

in brief

Company restructure

Many rural sites hit by massive rate increases

Many rural petrol stations are being faced with massive rate increases of between 100%-400%. The news comes from an initial review of the impact of the 2010 Rating List on rural forecourts by Barber Wadlow, in association with RMI Petrol.

Two awards for Paula

Paula Irvine from Spar Lagan Valley in Lisburn, Northern Ireland has been named the forecourt sector's Sales Assistant of the Year by Convenience Store magazine.


The beleaguered consumer is facing pump price increases of 8ppl, which will take diesel up to 150ppl and petrol not far behind. Overall this double tax whammy could take as much as £3.5bn/year out of consumers' pockets. The Chancellor has been advised that this would be a political and economical own goal because we need to be reigniting growth, not stifling it by hitting savings and retail sales yet again.

High Street revival needs more help

Four out of five MPs support giving communities greater powers to use the planning system to stop their high streets becoming 'clone towns'.

Loco coming to forecourts

Nisa's new Loco symbol group concept will be available to forecourt retailers.

Duty bound

MPs voted unanimously last month to pass a motion demanding that the government puts the two fuel duty rises planned for next year on the back burner.

Shop Doctor: Shell and Waitrose, Dome Roundabout, Watford, Herts

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Five years ago I reported on my visit to this location, the Dome Roundabout, north Watford. Since then nothing much seems to have changed. It's still a Shell-branded forecourt. A Sainsbury and Asda superstore are still within a stone's throw but, significantly, the forecourt shop has changed from a Sainsbury Local to a Little Waitrose.

If you're after a bank loan you'll need a detailed plan

In the same week as the government started to talk about a new £4bn scheme for state-backed lending directly to small businesses primarily because the earlier Project Merlin agreement for increased bank lending to business isn't believed to be working it was quite interesting to listen to a senior manager from one of the big High Street banks. He was explaining to an audience of would-be entrepreneurs about how to obtain funding. The biggest single reason for refusing to lend is that applications aren't supported by a comprehensive, written, business plan. That may seem like stating the obvious, but apparently a huge proportion of funding applications are rejected simply because they haven't presented a document that can be examined at various stages in the bank's internal review processes. So, if you need to visit your bank manager in the near future, perhaps just to obtain an extension or renewal of existing credit facilities, this may just tip the odds in your favour.

Family car wash firm with real focus on innovation

While the trend on UK forecourts may be to bury the car wash area under a shiny new shop extension, the same cannot be said about the rest of Europe, according to the powers that be at Otto Christ AG, the German masters in vehicle wash manufacturing. And they should know.

Don't fit and forget LPG installations, warns Wigfull

LPG system installer John Wigfull & Co has warned retailers not to fit and forget their LPG installations. Speaking at the APEA conference in Coventry last month, director Richard Wigfull said retailers must ensure they have a routine maintenance schedule in place because final responsibility rests with the site operator.

Heading for the cloud

Retail technology provider Torex has launched a cloud-based point-of-sale system that works via a browser on any tablet, smartphone or traditional POS. The Kachng! HTML5 POS is said to be suited to small and medium-sized businesses which do not need to invest in a full-service traditional POS setup.

Griller in the midst

Metcalfe Catering Equipment has introduced the Roband Grill Station for making grilled sandwiches, paninis and focaccia snacks to order. With the elements embedded into the smooth die-cast aluminium cooking surfaces, the grill has been designed to produce an even, efficient heat transfer, ensuring that food is cooked thoroughly with uniform colouring.